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Winter vegetable and barley soup

Brimming with vegetable and barley goodness, this soup is great for you but also leaves you feeling totally satisfied. It is very substantial, almost more of a stew than a soup.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main
Cuisine English
Servings 4


  • 40 g 1½oz butter
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 2 sticks celery finely sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced into 1-2cm pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip peeled and diced into 1-2cm pieces
  • 1 medium potato peeled and diced into 1-2cm pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 stalks thyme
  • 100 g (3½oz) pearl barley
  • 1.2 litre (2pt) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Heat the butter in a pan and add all of the veg. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the veg has just started to soften.
  • Stir in the bay leaves, thyme, pearl barley and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and the pearl barley is soft.
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalk and stir in the chopped parsley. season to taste and serve hot.